One of Three Ante Bellum Houses Still Standing in Atlanta
Some houses can pack a punch when it comes to historic credentials. The Grant Mansion in Atlanta is a good case in point. The house was built in 1856 by Lemuel Pratt (L.P.) Grant and was the centerpiece of his 600-acre estate just south of Atlanta. L.P. was a city pioneer, railroad magnate and generous philanthropist. He donated 100 acres of his property to the city to build Grant Park, home of the cyclorama and Atlanta Zoo.
The fact that he served with the Confederate army in the Civil War should have been the death knell for his home when Sherman’s army occupied the city. However, legend has it that when Union troops searched the home, they found Masonic material in the attic. Evidently Sherman had a soft spot in his heart for Masons and the house was spared the torch.
After Grant’s death, the home stayed in the family. In 1903 his grandson, Bryan, and his wife were sharing the house with Mr. & Mrs. Robert P. Jones when they had a son. That son, Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones, went on to become the greatest amateur golfer in the world, winner of golfing’s grand slam and help set the stage for golfing’s premiere event, The Masters.
In 1941 Margaret Mitchell loaned Boyd Taylor $3,000 to buy the old mansion and create a museum. This proved to be the last hurrah before the mansion, like so many other fine old inner city homes, hit hard times.
Atlanta Preservaton Center
In 2001 the Grant Mansion was bought by the Atlanta Preservation Center with the intent to provide Atlantans and visitors to the city with a connection to one of the most storied residences in the city. Much of what they started with was just a shell of the former home and there was much to be completed. The APC has taken a dynamic role in preservation in the city and excels in advocacy, education and walking tours to help interested parties better understand and appreciate Atlanta’s past and preserve it for future generations. It spiraled into a state of disrepair that should have done what Sherman’s army hadn’t accomplished – total destruction.
Aged Pine Flooring
The Rosebud Company was called in to handle the remilled aged pine flooring purchased for installation and refinishing in the drawing room of the Grant Mansion Atlanta. The work has gone well and visitors to the Grant Mansion will now see a surface that compliments the look of the aged interior and provide a setting for functions of all types. For me personally, it is always a joy to work in a home so steeped in history and that has played such a major role in the history of Atlanta. If you should find yourself in Atlanta and want to relive some of Atlanta’s past, visit the Grant Mansion and talk to the staff. You can select from one of several walking tours of the downtown or neighborhoods that will help you better understand what made Atlanta the success that it is. Visit their website for all the information you will need at Atlanta Preservation Center.
Let’s end with a brief glimpse of the old pine floors and the transition they experienced at the hands of Rosebud Company.